Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Group in Boca Raton, Florida
Group therapy helps group members understand that they are not alone in their concerns and struggles.
Adriane Schmitt LMHC & Dr. Adam Friedman conduct our group therapy sessions at our Boca Raton office.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a specific form of group therapy that teaches skills which have been clinically proven to help people better handle overwhelming emotions, recurring thoughts/worries, and difficulties maintaining boundaries in their relationships. Created by Marsha Linehan, PhD, DBT makes life easier by teaching skills that help people avoid making the difficult situations that arise in life worse through our actions and emotions. In essence, DBT works on the “steam in the pipe”, the underlying causes that result in unhealthy behaviors.
DBT is divided into 4 sections (modules). The first module is mindfulness, which is the cornerstone of DBT. Skills taught in this module help us understand and learn not to place judgments on our thoughts and feelings, as well as stay in the moment. The concept of wise mind decision making is also taught in the mindfulness module. The skill of wise-mind helps group members avoid making quick decisions based on emotion.
"Your struggle doesn't have to be yours alone."
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The second module is emotional regulation. In this module, group members are taught skills designed to help them feel in control and better understand their emotions, as well as understand the role of self care in their emotional wellbeing. These skills help members contain their emotions before they reach their “point of no return”, and resort to unhealthy behaviors.
In the third module, interpersonal effectiveness, relationships are examined. Group members are taught specific ways to create and maintain boundaries, including asking for what they want in a healthy way and being assertive when turning down a request that might be unreasonable or unhealthy.
In the fourth and final module, distress tolerance, group members are taught radical acceptance, perhaps the most important DBT skill. Until a person can accept their current circumstances, emotions, and limitations, change is impossible. Also in distress tolerance, group members learn how to plan for unexpected events that occur in life so they aren’t overwhelmed and don’t make matters worse.
DBT groups are run according to the research based protocols, very specific guidelines created by Dr Linehan and proven to be effective in research studies. Groups are run in 2 hour blocks, once a week, and are co-led. The groups are 10 weeks in duration, and each group member receives a one of a kind book created out of Dr Linehan’s materials. Every week the group will be given a specific assignment to help reinforce the skills taught that week. While DBT groups are specific in their substance, they share characteristics with all forms of group therapy. Group members learn from one another and share experiences that make the group greater than the sum of its parts. Group members also validate each other’s experiences and qualities in ways that may not be possible in traditional one on one therapy. In addition, feelings and thoughts that arise during group (often during mindfulness practice) can be explored in depth in individual therapy.